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François-Marie voltaireArouet (21 November 1694 – 30 May 1778), known by his Pen Name Voltaire, was a French Enlightenment writer, historian and philosopher famous for his wit, his attacks on the established Catholic Church, and his advocacy of freedom of religion, freedom of expression, and separation of church and state.

Voltaire was a versatile writer, producing works in almost every literary form, including plays, poems, novels, essays, and historical and scientific works.

He wrote more than 20,000 letters and more than 2,000 books and pamphlets.

He was an outspoken advocate, despite the risk this placed him in under the strict censorship laws of the time.

As a satirical polemicist, he frequently made use of his works to criticize intolerance, religious dogma, and the French institutions of his day.

 

I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.

All men are equal; it is not their birth, But virtue itself that makes the difference.

God gave us the gift of life; it is up to us to give ourselves the gift of living well.

Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is an absurd one.

Appreciation is a wonderful thing: It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.

If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him

It is better to risk sparing a guilty person than to condemn an innocent one.

Paradise on earth is where I am.

Let the punishments of criminals be useful. A hanged man is good for nothing; a man condemned to public works still serves the country, and is a living lesson.

Common sense is not so common.

I always made one prayer to God, a very short one. Here it is: “O Lord, make our enemies quite ridiculous!” God granted it.

One always speaks badly when we have nothing to say

Faith consists in believing when it is beyond the power of reason to believe.

The secret of being a bore is to tell everything

Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices

It is dangerous to be right in matters where established men are wrong.

Every man is guilty of all the good he did not do.

To hold a pen is to be at war.

Paradise was made for tender hearts; hell, for loveless hearts.

What we find in books is like the fire in our hearths. We fetch it from our neighbors, we kindle it at home, we communicate it to others, and it becomes the property of all.

The safest course is to do nothing against one’s conscience. With this secret, we can enjoy life and have no fear from death.

Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers.

Men will always be mad, and those who think they can cure them are the maddest of all.

Whatever you do, crush the infamous thing, and love those who love you.

Man is free at the moment he wishes to be.

Opinions have caused more trouble on this little earth than plagues or earthquakes.

When it is a question of money, everybody is of the same religion.

Each player must accept the cards life deals him or her: but once they are in hand, he or she alone must decide how to play the cards in order to win the game.

We never live; we are always in the expectation of living.

No problem can withstand the assault of sustained thinking.

We are all full of weakness and errors; let us mutually pardon each other our follies – it is the first law of nature.

Life is thickly sown with thorns, and I know no other remedy than to pass quickly through them. The longer we dwell on our misfortunes, the greater is their power to harm us.

Let us read and let us dance – two amusements that will never do any harm to the world.

Stand upright, speak thy thoughts, declare The truth thou hast, that all may share; Be bold, proclaim it everywhere: They only live who dare.

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